If you're planning to hit up Happy Hour at Starbucks this afternoon, you might want to leave your reusable coffee mug at the office. The coffee chain is asking visitors across the United States and Canada to leave their drinkware at home, fearing that these tumblers and travel mugs could spread coronavirus.
In an open letter on the company's website, Starbucks executive vice-president Rossann Williams says "We are pausing the use of personal cups and 'for here' ware in our stores." The release also states that Starbucks will continue to honour the discount they offer for customers who bring in their own drinkware or request "for here" cups – although I'm not entirely sure how all that will work just yet. You might want to ask in-store.
The company plans to introduce a handful of other policies to address the epidemic. They will step up store cleaning and have instructed employees about what they should do if a staff member falls ill or reports exposure to someone who's sick. Starbucks has also restricted business-related company air travel until March 31 and either modified or postponed large meetings across Canada and the United States.
I'm betting these won't be the last policy changes we'll see as the coronavirus spreads, so we'll try to keep you updated on anything else that might impact your day-to-day life – especially your morning coffees.